By Aubrey Maswabc, September 24, 2015. Reprinted Courtesy of Botswana Daily News
Gaborone — Air Botswana has signed a two-year partnership with Airborne Lifeline Foundation to fly doctors within the airline’s existing schedule to various parts of the country to provide medical care.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Gaborone on Tuesday (September 22), the general manager of Air Botswana, Mr Ben Dahwa said it was easy to look at the partnership as just providing flights while neglecting the actual work being done by the doctors when they arrive at the different places.
He said under the partnership, Air Botswana would provide a specified number of tickets per month to Airborne Lifeline Foundation to main airports such as Maun, Kasane and Francistown. Mr Dahwa commended the Airborne Lifeline foundation team and the Ministry of Health for the reach out work and provision of health care services to all Batswana, regardless of their location.
He promised to report back actual figures on the number of people who got medical assistance because of the flights that the airline would be providing under this partnership.
Mr Dahwa said the airline had for many years been a strong partner alongside the people of Botswana in supporting activities of national importance and those that promote the welfare of Batswana across all sectors.
Through their partnership with PEPFAR, the airline provided over 80 round trip tickets for medical personnel travelling from Gaborone to Maun, Francistown and Kasane during the two year partnership. He said as a result more than 2 000 patients received direct medical care and in addition clinical staff benefitted from mentoring provided by the visiting physician specialists.
For her part, the operations director at Airborne Lifeline Foundation, Ms Tammi McAllister thanked Air Botswana for the generous gesture and said the gesture would be fully utilised as it takes special people to leave the comfort of their own environment and travel to rural areas to visit patients in need.
Ms McAllister said, “the round trip from and to Gaborone costs two working days and is exhausting and it is for this reason Airborne has created the service to provide a time saving and comfortable manner of transporting the doctors throughout the country.”